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memphis

Expeditions Past & Present

MEMPHIS

Memphis (now called Mit Rahineh) was the capital city of Egypt during the Old Kingdom (2625-2130 B.C.) and remained an important administrative and religious center throughout Egyptian history. Egyptian Section Curator Clarence Fisher excavated at Memphis for 8 years (1915-1923), during which time he discovered the ceremonial palace of the New Kingdom pharaoh Merenptah (1213-1204 B.C.) as well as an associated urban area; a series of later settlements; and a temple precinct dedicated to the Memphite creator god, Ptah. Much of the material excavated during these seasons, including substantial portions of the palace, is now in the University of Pennsylvania Museum (UPM).

Color drawing showing a reconstruction of the throne room of the Merenptah Palace ca. 1920
Color drawing showing a reconstruction of the throne room of the Merenptah Palace ca. 1920

reconstruction of the palace as it appears today
Reconstruction of the palace as it appears today in the Museum's Lower Egyptian Gallery.

Under Rudolf Anthes, the UPM returned to the site of Memphis during the years 1950-1962 and excavations were carried out at the temple of Ptah. The site of Memphis was sacred to the god Ptah, his consort Sekhmet and the third member of the Memphite Triad, Nefertem.

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